Thursday, March 01, 2007

Chiki in wonderland

After a month long trip down south, Di, Dan and Chiki (Sarah Ruth Rajkumar) arrived in Chandigarh today. Chiki of course has grown bigger than the last time I saw her (Diwali 2006). Now she walks, runs and expresses herself much more clearly that she did when she came home the last time. Well it was another reintroduction time…the li’l lady (now 16 months old) remembered no one (Ma, Pa or me). It was funny the way she stared at me for a long time with unblinking eyes and finally gave a shy smile and buried her face into di’s sweater. However she was apprehensive about coming near me.
Anyway, I’d like to describe the night’s events:
After feeding her at night, Dan and di were singing lullabies to Chiki. From my room I heard Dan humming the tune, di singing softly and Chiki humming (and singing a few broken phrases…rather saying a few words in between) along with them. I was amazed at the li’l baby’s ability to hum “in tune”. I switched off my room’s light, opened the door and peeped into the other bed-room. Dan and di saw me but I gestured them to not look at me (for Chiki hadn’t seen me and I wanted to watch her without making her conscious of my presence). In the dim light, I watched her antics while her tired parents sang for her. She kept rolling around and turning, all the while humming “twinkle twinkle li’l star”, “baba black sheep” and a plethora of others I’m oblivious to (di knows them all by now). Danny slept off while humming, di kept yawning now and then while singing while the li’l one enjoyed the songs. Her tiny fingers were dancing to the tune, so were her bums, her legs and her toes as she kept changing positions after every 20 odd seconds. Sometimes she would stare at the ceiling, sometimes she would bury her head into Danny’s hands, and then roll over towards di and start humming again. I watched her in amazement, she’s so little and the bed is big enough to accommodate her gymnast like movements (I envy her for that…I’d love to do that). Chiki kept talking to di in some alien language (which only the mother and daughter could understand.) Then she climbed on top of my half asleep sister and started giggling. Di jumped up and started tickling Chiki; she laughed uncontrollably but got irritated in just a few seconds. Di’s motherly response was an affectionate hug. Chiki hugged Di and in a few seconds (just like that), fell asleep. I kept watching all this and was amazed by this. How can somebody just fall asleep in a second (I have a bridge period in which I’m half asleep thinking of all the shitty things and shitty people in life and trying to convince myself that it’s a waste of time…this last quite a long time…I’d say an hour maybe or maybe longer…I’m quite an angry man by the time I sleep).
I can’t believe that my parents would’ve showered affection on me at some point of time when I was little…they definitely would have, I have a few blurred recollections. We grow up and have our own perspective about the world. I judge my parents ruthlessly (oh! I do), many a times I feel estranged towards them, many a times I dislike being around them…but I do love them. They did the best they could for me…i.e. the best in their sight, my perspective could be different. The story would probably repeat when I have children. Though I fiercely defend my right to choose my partner (nope no interference form any corner here), to believe in whatever I want to, to go wherever I want to without my parents interfering, but after tonight (after watching Chiki and didi), I do love my parents a little more…for Chiki just fell asleep…she’ll never know how she fell asleep…she didn’t know that her ma sat up straight in the middle of the night (despite being sleepy and tired from a long journey) to provide for her daughter a comfortable place (her own body) so that her daughter could fall asleep in the blink of eye. And this has been happening for the past 16 months and will probably continue for sometime.
I returned to my room quietly but felt a little heavy hearted. When Chiki grows up, she’ll not remember this…how she fell asleep…just like that. When she’s a young woman, there’ll be times when she’ll disagree with her parents, dislike them or even fight with them (inevitable)…but will she remember this…what I saw standing in the darkness…no! I don’t think so.
So I presume that I too don’t remember or recall the many sleepless nights my parents must’ve spent when I was unwell or cranky or…just sleepy…for they must’ve just made the environment conducive enough for me to just sleep off without my realizing that the hands that worked towards making me feel that way were theirs.
So dear ma and pa, I still am fiercely defensive about some aspects of my life (and I know that you respect that), I just want to announce something…

1 comment:

Niharika said...

Man!! Jess... that was awesome.. i had a smile on my face teh entire time i read that.. hats off to you buddy.. you describe simple things in teh most awesomest and grandest way possible.. i am surely going to give a big hug to my folks today when i reach home.. superb Jess.. superb!!